NEYSA GRASSI

September 8 - October 17, 2020

 

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Locks Gallery is proud to present an exhibition of new oil paintings by Philadelphia-based artist Neysa Grassi (b. 1951). Grassi’s seductive surfaces, built slowly over time through a meditative process of layering and burnishing, evoke geological and meteorological phenomena. Continuously emerging and dissolving, her atmospheric images yield a portrait of flux—a compressed record of the passage of time.

Each work takes months, sometimes years, to complete and the resulting paintings are hauntingly beautiful, emergent forms born out of a laborious communion of materiality and consciousness.

Winter Winds, 2020, oil on panel, 48 x 46 inches

Path, 2020, oil on panel, 20 x 20 inches

Distant Winds, 2020, oil on panel, 48 x 46 inches

Storm Season, 2020, oil on panel, 46 x 48 inches

Trembling River in Spring, 2020, oil on panel, 48 x 46 inches

Source, 2020, oil on panel, 48 x 46 inches

Undertow...for NC, 2020, oil on panel, 18 x 18 inches

The Meeting II, 2020, oil on panel, 24 x 24 inches

“. . . She builds up the picture plane in an attempt to reach through and beneath it, underscoring what is within by concealing it. . . These romantic images allude at once to heavy skies and cresting currents, fiery, hot orbs and subdued, cool celestial bodies. Opaque yet iridescent, their painted surfaces conflate the liquidity of watercolor with the tactile textures of sculpted metal, wood, and natural stone, and appear to be solid objects with molten qualities that percolate as they rise to the top. But, above all, there is a deeply rooted, anchor-like quality to these paintings. . . Like works of lyric poetry, these paintings propose deep meditations on not only the natural world but also the ways in which it preoccupies, reveals, and embodies the human psyche and experience.”
 

Jennie Hirsh, Time, Travel, Translation(2015)

“Spare as they often are, these paintings are full. Their capaciousness makes room for many reminiscences, and not only of art, but also of other realities... like the flickering of fireflies, the fur of animals, the shadowy interiors of dimly lit churches, knots that are coming undone or nets that may later grow taut with their catch, diagrams of the body’s inner workings, landscapes full of mist, skin that’s been scarred... things everybody knows.”
 

— Barry Schwabsky, “Dissolver” (1999)

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View from Rivers Edge, 2017

Oil on panel, 23 x 23 1/2 inches

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“Brushstroke after brushstroke, layer upon layer, Grassi applies colorful passages—hot pinks, bright blues, somber purples, burning yellows, smoky grays—each layer blurring and burying the one beneath it like gently settling waves after a turbulent storm.”

Jennie Hirsh, Time, Travel, Translation(2015)

Path, 2020

Oil on panel, 20 x 20 inches

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Baring Falls, 2018, oil on linen, 60 x 56 inches

“In general, painting can be described as a dialectic between the sense of touch and sight, sometimes dominated by one, sometimes by the other. Grassi’s oeuvre appears to me as one of the instances in which the visual exists more for the sake of a tactile effect than the other way round. Her work is all about the sense of touch as an extinguisher of boundaries. . . That’s why the paintings contain so few internal edges -- they’re almost all transition. Her paint is always marking the surface as such and then dissolving it, using the interaction of light and texture to render it poignantly nebulous.”

— Barry Schwabsky, “Dissolver” (1999)

 

In the Studio

 

Checklist

Winter Winds
Oil on panel, 2020
48 x 46 inches

$36,000

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Path
Oil on panel, 2020
20 x 20 inches

$15,000

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Distant Winds
Oil on panel, 2020
48 x 46 inches 

$36,000

distantwinds.jpg

View from Rivers Edge
Oil on panel, 2017

23 x 23 1/2 inches

$16,000

viewfromriversedge_WEB.jpg

Storm Season
Oil on panel, 2020
46 x 48 inches 

$36,000

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Trembling River in Spring
Oil on panel, 2020
48 x 46 inches 

$36,000

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Source
Oil on panel, 2020
48 x 46 inches 

$36,000

source.jpg

Undertow...for NC
Oil on panel, 2020
18 x 18 inches

$15,000

undertow-for-NC_WEB.jpg

Baring Falls
Oil on linen, 2018
60 x 56 inches 

$40,000

The Meeting II
Oil on panel, 2020
24 x 24 inches

$16,000

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Biography

Neysa Grassi is a Pew Fellowship recipient and has had solo exhibitions at the Maryland Institute College of Art, MD; the Pensacola Art Museum, FL; the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, PA; Swathmore College, PA; and the University of Delaware, DE. Grassi is currently a critic in the Masters of Fine Arts program at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Her work is included in the permanent collections of the Berman Museum of Art, the Palmer Museum, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Woodmere Art Museum.

Click here to learn more about Neysa Grassi.

Click here to inquire about the works in the exhibition.